Local teacher creates dance challenge to promote positivity

Taking Back the Community

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – A local teacher is hoping his dance challenge will promote positivity for young people throughout the world.

PJ Howard IV is a sixth grade math teacher at Oscar Smith Middle School. Over the summer, he says he was at home when he got the idea to come up with a dance.

“We see a lot of negative spotlight. I’m like I need to do something positve, not just for myself but for the community,” he said.

So, he created the #PGROOVECHALLENGE and launched it on different social media accounts earlier this year.

Since then, it’s had thousands of views and people across the country have risen to the challenge.

Howard is excited that so many are getting behind it, including students.

“It’s 2020. The kids love rap and they love dance,” he said about its popularity among kids, including those at his school.

Howard says students always approach him in the hall telling him to ‘do the dance.’

One student, Reniya Myrick, who dances in one of the challenges with Howard, was excited to see it catch on.

“I was happy because I haven’t hit 1,000 (Twitter) followers yet. After that, I hit 2,000 followers. I had just started a new school so I got friends from that because people were like ‘you’re the girl from the video! You can dance!'” she said.

Myrick hopes to one day be a dance coordinator but until then, she’ll keep dancing the challenge with Howard, who also wants the students who do this to follow their own dreams.

“I want them to know you can be better than me. The sky’s the limit. You can be anything you want to be,” he said.


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